Koch Brother: “The Struggle for Freedom Never Ends”
Charles Koch, a billionaire Republican super-donor, gave a speech on Saturday in which he said that he and his brother David had no intention of slowing down the fund-raising operation that some say amounts to corrupting American democracy. Koch said they simply cannot stop, because “the struggle for freedom never ends.”
“Americans have taken an important step in slowing down the march toward collectivism,” Koch said at the speech in Palm Springs, California. “But as many of you know, we don’t rest on our laurels. We are already back at work and hard at it! In fact, the work never really ends. Because the struggle for freedom never ends.”
Koch-affiliated groups spent $290 million on the 2014 midterm elections, according to Politico. According to The Nation, they dropped $412.7 million on the 2012 elections—twice as much as the top 10 unions combined. Senator Harry Reid, who, as a Democrat, has obvious biases against billionaire Republican donors, has characterized the Kochs as “shadowy billionaires pour unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system to benefit themselves and the wealthiest one percent.” (Fun fact: there are other Koch siblings, including the eldest brother, Frederick, who is a prolific art collector and philanthropist.)
The anti–big government, pro–free market Koch brothers held their own primary of sorts in Palm Springs on Sunday night, featuring senators Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. Paul and Cruz wore boots. The event was not unlike the affront to democracy that billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson—2012 spending: $100 million—held in March of last year. At Adelson’s getaway, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and a host of other G.O.P. stars flew to Las Vegas to genuflect before donors at the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Politico’s Kenneth P. Vogel has a nice look at the Koch brothers’ recent shift toward tepid transparency, after years of utter secrecy. One wonders if Charles Koch meant to say he and David Koch will continue tossing hundreds of millions at politicians because the struggle against freedom never ends.